Today alone, 15,000 children across the world will die from severe acute malnutrition.

In four countries, a silent emergency is threatening the lives of over a million children.

Right now, in Yemen, Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan – over a million children are dangerously ill with severe acute malnutrition.

It is the most extreme and visible form of under-nutrition.

Its face is a child – frail and skeletal – who requires urgent treatment to survive.

Hunger Hotspots in Africa & Middle East

Right now, in Yemen, Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan – over a million children are suffering from severe acute malnutrition

Children suffering from severe acute malnutrition are almost 12 times more likely to die from preventable diseases like cholera and measles than healthy children.

We can currently only reach 1 in 4 children who need us. But that’s simply not good enough.

We can and must reach every child in need right now. Please will you help?

Life-Saving Food

Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) is specifically designed to treat children with severe acute malnutrition.

It is made from high energy micronutrient peanut paste and is widely regarded as ‘miracle food’.

RUTF is known for its power for bringing back children from the brink. It comes in little plastic sachets like the one enclosed and has transformed the treatment of severe acute malnutrition across the world.

RUTF is cheap and simple to use and store. It also doesn’t need to be mixed with water, which is often in short supply and unsafe to drink in crisis situations like conflicts or natural disasters like droughts.

But perhaps best of all, it means parents can treat their children at home without having to take them to the hospital which is often many miles away.

With your help, health workers who are able to get to hard-to-reach and rural communities are being trained to spot the signs of severe acute malnutrition in children so they can be treated sooner.

It is only thanks to the continued kindness of supporters like you that UNICEF is the largest supplier of therapeutic food around the world, buying an astounding 80 per cent of the world’s emergency supplies.

child malnutrition
Aissata, 6 months, eats ready-to-use therapeutic food.

It Works!

In Yemen, one-year-old Raja* was suffering from severe acute malnutrition before treatment with RUTF.

The little girl showed signs of severe wasting and respiratory disease, weighing only 6 kilograms. She was also diagnosed with pneumonia.

malnutrition yemen

This is Raja just three months after she started treatment. As you can see she has gained weight and is fully recovered.

For every child like Raja, there are three more children who still need help. Please will you help them now?

*name changed


Other Ways to Donate

You can make a donation by phone, you can reach us on 01 878 3000, our office hours are Monday to Friday 09:00 – 18:00.

You can send your donation by post to


UNICEF Ireland,
33 Lower Ormond Quay,
Dublin D01 R283.

You can help reach more children affected by conflict. Please donate today and help protect children. 

In the unlikely event that the funds raised exceed UNICEF’s funding requirements for this appeal, your donation will be directed to where the need is greatest.